Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK - The North Dakota Senate voted Thursday, Feb. 7, to change how wind tax revenue is distributed, sending more future wind revenue to the state general fund rather than counties. Senate Bill 2331 directs one-third of wind tax revenue to the state and two-thirds to counties for wind projects constructed after Dec. 31, 2020. Currently, all of North Dakota’s wind energy tax revenue stays with counties that produce the energy, while the state shares in tax revenue from coal and oil.
BISMARCK -- State and tribal leaders moved closer Wednesday, Feb. 6, to reaching a compromise for sharing tax revenue from oil produced at Fort Berthold, while also establishing a framework for future tribal tax agreements. The Senate Finance and Taxation Committee heard testimony in support of Senate Bill 2312, which is projected to send an additional $33 million in oil tax revenue to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation for 2019-21.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Public Service Commission issued a siting permit on Wednesday, Feb. 6, for the Emmons-Logan Wind Energy Center, granting approval for as many as 123 wind turbines northeast of Linton. The project by NextEra Energy Resources will have a capacity of about 298 megawatts and will include a 6.85-mile transmission line in Emmons County. Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said the project has strong support from community members and landowners in the area.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota legislators are considering putting money back into the Housing Incentive Fund, a state program that seeks to make housing affordable. The program that was first funded in 2011 has been used to help finance 2,500 rental housing units statewide, but the state didn't have dollars available in 2017. This year, legislators are evaluating three proposals that would provide $10 million to $40 million for the Housing Incentive Fund.
BISMARCK -- As a bill dealing with high-level radioactive waste works its way through the North Dakota Legislature this session, a group of concerned citizens is urging the public to pay attention. Senate Bill 2037 sets up a framework for permitting and regulating the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive waste.
BISMARCK -- A bill in the North Dakota Senate would require oil companies to pay taxes and royalties on a portion of natural gas that is flared, a move supporters say would stop them from wasting a natural resource. Sen. Tim Mathern, D-Fargo, proposes to charge taxes and royalties on flared natural gas on wells that have been flaring for more than one year. Mathern, who has introduced similar legislation in previous sessions, said Friday his plan is a “pragmatic” approach to increase gas capture rates.
BISMARCK -- The North Dakota Senate overwhelmingly rejected a proposal on Wednesday, Jan 30, to increase the oil extraction tax, with opponents saying they want to keep the Bakken competitive. Senate Bill 2336, which would have increased the oil extraction tax from 5 percent to 6.5 percent, failed in a 10-36 vote, with Democrats supporting it and Republicans in opposition.
BISMARCK -- County auditors spoke in opposition Friday, Jan. 25, to a bill sponsored by several Bismarck lawmakers that would require political party leaders to consent to changing voting locations. House Bill 1270 was prompted by a disagreement between Burleigh County officials and Bismarck legislators over reducing the number of polling places and establishing universal vote centers.
BISMARCK - A North Dakota legislative committee pressed Thursday, Jan. 24, for improvements at the state Capitol to make the building more accessible to people with disabilities. Members of the House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee heard testimony on a bill that would require handicapped-accessible parking within 125 feet of the Capitol public entrance. The Capitol has two accessible parking spaces more than 350 feet from the south entrance, the door the public is required to enter since security measures were implemented two years ago.
BISMARCK — A proposal to increase the oil extraction tax received a cold reception in a North Dakota legislative committee on Wednesday, Jan. 23, with the chairman chastising the bill sponsor for “political theater.” Rep. Pamela Anderson, D-Fargo, proposes to increase the oil extraction tax from 5 percent to 6.5 percent, restoring the tax to the level it was before lawmakers changed it in 2015. Anderson argues that reducing the oil tax contributed to the dire financial situation facing the state in 2017.